Along with your regular clients, every salon also has a steady stream of customers who come and go. They visit your salon a few times then move on. It’s a natural part of the business of hair salons, but when these customers go they need to be replaced. That’s why you always need to be looking for new clients. Always finding more people to fill up your appointment times. Always generating new leads. But how do you do that?
First things first: know your customer. Who are you trying to get into your store? Maybe your clients are young families who need haircuts for the kids. Perhaps you’re targeting hip young professionals who need a new style for the weekend. You know your customers best so think about who you they are and what they want. Do they need a reasonably priced basic haircut or are they after the full salon experience and the very latest in hair styling. Work this out first before you decide how you’re going to entice them into your business.
Once you know who you want, you can think about how you’re going to get them into your store. Today’s salons need to have an online presence, so if you don’t already have an amazing website you need to start there. And it needs to be effective. Gone are the days when your website could just have some basic information about the salon and a few nice pictures. Today’s clients want all the
information at their fingertips: your opening hours, what services you offer, a full price list, your special deals. And they want to be educated: maybe a blog with the latest hair styling trends or tips for keeping their style looking good. But don’t stop there - offer online booking. It’s the perfect way to turn a potential lead into a confirmed appointment!
When you’re chasing new leads, social media is an absolute must. You need to be all over it – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. If your customers are using it, you should be too. Engage with your online community and show them what you can offer. Today’s customers are visually motivated and social media is an ideal way to show them what you’ve got. Use before-and-after shots of a client’s
new style or post photos of customers enjoying the in-store experience. Keep your information brief and let the pictures tell the story. Make sure your future clients take action though – tell them how they can achieve the same fabulous new look if they book an appointment now!
Getting your salon known to potential customers is important, but you need to turn that interest into a confirmed salon booking. It’s all well and good to have people looking at your website or scrolling through your Instagram but how do you convert that into new sales? Offer them something too good to pass up. Maybe a voucher for a free treatment with their service or a 10% off discount for new customers. Clients want to feel like they’re getting a special deal, so give it to them. Once they’re in your salon you can win them over with your service and make sure they keep coming back!
When it comes to generating new leads, nothing works better than word-of-mouth. Your current customers are your best marketing tool so get them working for you! Offer them an incentive to recommend your salon to family and friends – maybe a discount on their next service or a double deal for them and their friend. Word-of-mouth works great online too – encourage them to share your posts on social media. Potential new clients are more likely to engage with your post if it’s been shared by their friend, colleague or loved one. You might also encourage your current customers to leave an online review. Google, Facebook or even your own website are great places to do this and potential new customers will appreciate reading about other people’s experiences.
When you’re trying to generate new leads, make sure you’re also thinking long term. Before you hand over that voucher or discount code make sure you capture their email address. Future marketing is so important when you’re turning potential customers into actual sales. When you have their email address you can continue to offer deals, show off your new products or services or invite them to special events. Get them back into your salon as often as you can and you’ll soon turn them into the loyal, regular clients you want!
Here's a quick recap...
1. Invest in a comprehensive Operating System
A comprehensive daily operating system - it's one thing to be able to take client appointments but does your system have a CRM built in and does it nurture your prospects on their journey to being a loyal client? Explore your system and find out if it does have the power to drive client contact and nurturing...if not, consider investing in one that does so you can capture enquiries and send them compelling offers and information about your business.
2. Leverage Social Media
Are you really leveraging the full potential of Social media? Social Media is vital in todays business environment. Ensure you have a Social Media strategy that combines multiple channels. For example a content rich FaceBook page and Instagram page that are posted on at least once a day is good start and make sure the content is relevant, modern, interesting and engaging. Of course a website does help...remember...many of your potential clients are watching you and gathering evidence as to why they should or shouldn't come to you.
3. New Customer Offer
When a potential client visits your Website or Social site, give them an offer for being new. It doesn't have to be elaborate...a voucher that can be redeemed against their first service is a good one :)
4. Automated Messaging System
Consider installing an automated messaging system (sometimes referred to as an Autobot). This can answer some common questions 24/7 saving you time to focus on new client nurturing. Remember - these can only answer pre installed questions and it is likely that you will need to monitor this to answer unique questions.
5. Referral Programs
Referral programs are an excellent way to drive new leads. Reward your existing customers for referring someone and keep in mind your top customers hang with people just like them "birds of a feather flock together". So when a current client refers someone make sure you reward your client with something of high perceived value e.g. hair care basket.
6. Marketing Plan
Plan your marketing activities in advance. It is a good idea to have your pre planned strategies finalised at the end of the year and entered into a calendar for the following year. It's not set in concrete however you should have some idea around how you are going to attract new customers in advance. Check your calendar and adjust strategies as you develop more knowledge around marketing.
7. What about Outsourcing?
Consider outsourcing all the above. Yes it comes at a cost but consider it more of an investment. Unless you are an expert in marketing, social media, SEO etc chances are it occupies much of your valuable time and no doubt at times is incredibly frustrating.